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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Governance Redesign in Global Sports Franchises

Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Governance to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: The organization is a global sports franchise facing challenges in its Governance structure.

Despite enjoying considerable brand recognition and fan loyalty, the organization has encountered difficulties with decision-making speed, strategic alignment, and compliance. The complexities of international operations and diverse stakeholder expectations have led to a fragmented Governance model that struggles to adapt to the dynamic sports industry. The organization seeks to enhance its Governance framework to improve organizational agility, ensure strategic coherence, and maintain regulatory compliance.

In observing the sports franchise's situation, one might hypothesize that the root cause of the Governance challenges could be a lack of clear roles and responsibilities across the organization, potentially compounded by inadequate communication channels that fail to support efficient decision-making. Additionally, the absence of a robust compliance system might be contributing to the Governance inefficiencies.


The organization can address its Governance challenges by adopting a proven 5-phase consulting approach tailored to the sports industry. This methodology will not only streamline decision-making processes but also enhance strategic alignment and compliance, thereby leading to improved overall organizational performance.

  1. Assessment and Benchmarking: Begin with a comprehensive assessment of the current Governance structure, benchmarking against industry best practices. Key questions include: How does the organization's current Governance model compare to leading sports franchises? What are the existing decision-making processes, and how are roles and responsibilities defined? The phase should yield insights into gaps and opportunities for improvement.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with key stakeholders to understand their perspectives and expectations. This phase involves identifying and analyzing the needs of fans, sponsors, and regulatory bodies. Key activities include stakeholder mapping and interviews to gather insights into their views on the organization's Governance.
  3. Strategic Governance Framework Development: Develop a tailored Governance framework that aligns with the organization's strategic objectives. This phase focuses on designing clear roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes, ensuring they support the organization's vision and operational realities.
  4. Risk Management and Compliance Systems: Implement robust risk management and compliance systems to mitigate potential Governance risks. This includes establishing clear policies, procedures, and controls to ensure adherence to regulations and ethical standards.
  5. Change Management and Implementation: Finally, focus on the Change Management processes required to implement the new Governance model. This involves communicating changes, training stakeholders, and establishing feedback mechanisms to ensure successful adoption.

Learn more about Change Management Risk Management Best Practices

For effective implementation, take a look at these Governance best practices:

Complete Strategic Management Consulting Guide and Toolkit (178-slide PowerPoint deck and supporting ZIP)
ISO 37000:2021 (Governance of Organizations) Awareness (72-slide PowerPoint deck)
Governance Review Template (1-page PDF document)
Corporate Governance: Guide for SMEs (27-slide PowerPoint deck)
IT Governance Framework (23-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Anticipated CEO Questions

CEOs often inquire about the impact of Governance changes on company culture and employee morale. The approach ensures that cultural considerations are integrated into the framework, promoting a Governance culture that aligns with the organization's values and enhances employee engagement.

Concerns about the adaptability of the Governance framework to future industry shifts are also common. The methodology incorporates flexibility into the Governance design, allowing the organization to respond swiftly to emerging trends and market dynamics.

Questions regarding the measurement of success post-implementation are also prevalent. Success metrics are established early in the process, with clear KPIs and regular reviews to ensure the new Governance framework delivers the desired outcomes.

Learn more about Employee Engagement

Expected Business Outcomes

  • Increased decision-making speed and efficiency, leading to faster strategic execution.
  • Improved compliance with regulatory standards, reducing legal risks and enhancing the organization's reputation.
  • Greater alignment between various departments and international operations, fostering a more cohesive organizational strategy.

Potential Implementation Challenges

  • Resistance to change from within the organization, particularly from those accustomed to the existing Governance processes.
  • Complexities in aligning the diverse interests of international stakeholders with the new Governance framework.
  • Ensuring consistent application of the Governance framework across all levels and geographies within the organization.

Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.

What gets measured gets done, what gets measured and fed back gets done well, what gets rewarded gets repeated.
     – John E. Jones

  • Decision-making cycle time reduction percentage
  • Compliance incident frequency rate
  • Stakeholder satisfaction scores post-implementation

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

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Governance Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Governance. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Governance subject matter experts.

Sample Deliverables

  • Governance Framework Redesign (PowerPoint)
  • Stakeholder Engagement Report (MS Word)
  • Risk Management and Compliance Plan (PDF)
  • Change Management Toolkit (PowerPoint)
  • Performance Dashboard (Excel)

Explore more Governance deliverables

Case Studies

A case study from a leading European football club showed a 30% improvement in decision-making efficiency after implementing a new Governance structure. Another case from a North American basketball franchise highlighted a 20% reduction in compliance incidents following the establishment of comprehensive compliance systems.

Explore additional related case studies

Strategic Alignment in Sports Governance

Strategic Alignment within a sports franchise's Governance is critical. By ensuring that all Governance mechanisms support the overarching strategic objectives, the organization can maintain a competitive edge. This involves regular strategic reviews and adjustments to the Governance framework in response to changing industry dynamics.

Leadership Development and Governance

Leadership plays a pivotal role in effective Governance. Developing a leadership program that focuses on Governance competencies can help build a pipeline of leaders who are adept at navigating the complexities of the sports industry and making sound decisions that align with the organization's values and goals.

Learn more about Leadership

Innovation in Governance Practices

Embracing innovation in Governance practices can lead to substantial performance improvements. This includes leveraging technology to streamline decision-making processes, enhancing data-driven strategies, and adopting new models of stakeholder engagement that are responsive to fan behaviors and preferences.

Additional Resources Relevant to Governance

Here are additional best practices relevant to Governance from the Flevy Marketplace.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Increased decision-making speed by 25% through the implementation of a streamlined Governance framework.
  • Reduced compliance incident frequency rate by 40%, enhancing the organization's reputation and legal standing.
  • Achieved a 15% improvement in stakeholder satisfaction scores, reflecting better alignment with fan, sponsor, and regulatory expectations.
  • Implemented a leadership development program focused on Governance competencies, resulting in a 20% increase in leadership effectiveness scores.
  • Leveraged technology to reduce decision-making cycle time, contributing to the 25% increase in decision-making speed.
  • Conducted regular strategic reviews, ensuring the Governance framework remains aligned with changing industry dynamics and organizational objectives.

The initiative to enhance the Governance framework of the global sports franchise has been markedly successful. The significant increase in decision-making speed and efficiency demonstrates the effectiveness of the streamlined Governance model in facilitating faster strategic execution. The notable reduction in compliance incidents not only mitigates legal risks but also positively impacts the organization's reputation, crucial for maintaining fan loyalty and attracting sponsors. Improved stakeholder satisfaction scores indicate that the new Governance framework better meets the diverse expectations of fans, sponsors, and regulatory bodies. The leadership development program has been instrumental in building a cadre of leaders capable of navigating the sports industry's complexities, further contributing to the initiative's success. However, ongoing challenges such as resistance to change and the complexities of international stakeholder alignment suggest that alternative strategies, such as more targeted change management interventions and enhanced international stakeholder engagement efforts, could have further optimized outcomes.

Given the initiative's success and the identified areas for improvement, the recommended next steps include: Continuing the leadership development program with a focus on change management and international operations to further enhance Governance competencies. Expanding the use of technology in Governance processes, particularly in stakeholder engagement, to improve responsiveness and alignment with fan behaviors and preferences. Lastly, instituting a more robust framework for measuring and analyzing stakeholder satisfaction to ensure that the Governance framework remains responsive to evolving expectations and industry dynamics.

Source: Governance Redesign in Global Sports Franchises, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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